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BBC News app overhaul brings fresh look and new features

News junkies may be interested to know that the BBC has this week rolled out a major update to its popular news app.

Landing first for mobile users in the UK, the app is set to go global in the coming months.

It’s the first significant redesign since its launch nearly five years ago, and brings with it a much wider range of content, as well as a raft of personalization options.

Related: 18 great news apps for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone

Steve Herrmann, the BBC’s editor of online news, outlined the new features in a blog post this week.

They include the incorporation of a much broader variety of stories, including BBC local news coverage from around the UK. Users can seek out a region manually or simply let the app generate content by allowing it to know your location.

Hermann says the app also now offers greater depth of coverage in the top stories section, with an increased number of links to more in-depth coverage on major stories.

A new feature likely to prove popular with users is the ability to personalise a new my news section with news topics and sections of interest.

New most read and most watched sections have also been added, and improvements have been made to the display of video and images, too.

Related: Google launches free iOS app for news junkies

“We’re making changes both to the app and the BBC News website in order to make our content work better on mobile and tablet, to meet the big shift we are seeing towards mobile news consumption,” Herrmann said.

Since launching in 2010, the BBC News app has seen more than 40 million downloads across 200 countries.

Herrmann said that as more than 50 percent of visitors to BBC News online visit via mobile or tablet, it was “a good time for an upgrade which takes full advantage of today’s better devices, bigger screens, and faster connection speeds.”

The revamped news app is available from app stores now for devices running Android (4.0 and above) and iOS (7.0 and above), while the update is being pushed out gradually to existing users throughout this week.